Virtual Fundraising Events & Galas = Expanded Reach
Make today’s lack of geographical constraints and altered time perceptions work for your virtual fundraising event and your org
In the Fundraising Industry Category… Name two hot topics that used to be EXTREMELY IMPORTANT but are now COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT.
The answer is… Seasons and Geography. (RIP, Alex Trebek.) You want to capitalize on this. Here’s why and how.
Gratitude Begets Generosity
You might be thinking it’s not a good time to ask people for money. Many were hit hard by the pandemic. Many are struggling and will be for some time. On the other hand, there are folks out there who didn’t lose work and/or income. And there are some who have thrived during this time. They’re feeling extra grateful and they’re still in a position to give. In fact, our data suggests they’re giving even more than they usually do. Target these donors!
Every Season is Fundraising Season
We used to put a tremendous amount of thought into when to hold events. We pored over suitable dates and times. We advised our partners to select event dates well in advance and snap up those ever-important weekend evenings before a competing org had a chance to. Summers and Decembers were generally quiet times. My, how things have changed. In the virtual world, every season is fundraising season! And each day of the week is now fair game. Really the only rule to observe is to avoid holidays, as people are usually otherwise engaged. But in this new world, fundraising seasons are a thing of the past – much like geography.
Increasing Geographical Reach
There’s a finite number of folks who can attend an in-person event – venues only hold so many people, and you must consider proximity for donors, too. There are also any number of obstacles that keep people away – prohibitively expensive ticket prices, for one. Maybe folks already have plans that night. Sometimes the idea of driving is unappealing, as is finding parking and having to walk several blocks in heels before you arrive. Finding child care. All these hurdles to jump before attending an in-person event serve to increase the appeal of virtual, in which ANYONE with a device and an internet connection can tune in. It truly is staggering if you think about how many people could potentially join your Virtual Gala (VG). Encourage your friends to watch and encourage them to invite their friends to participate! Call or email distant relatives and invite them to learn more about you and your work – perhaps they’ll even be inspired to make a donation. So many possibilities! Even if folks are otherwise engaged during the initial live event, they can watch at a later date/time, at their convenience – provided you keep your VG online and viewable – after the live portion is over. Not all orgs leave their shows online, but they all should consider it. Statistics suggest the watching continues when they do – and even more importantly, so does the giving!
Keeping Live Streams Viewable, Post-Event
It’s one of the things we love best about virtual events: They can live in perpetuity! After all, you worked really hard crafting your VG, the content, the storytelling, the beautifully-produced videos, and all the other visuals. Keep in mind, their value doesn’t diminish when the live stream is over. In fact, you can (might we suggest, should?) use these videos, custom graphics and vignettes in your post-event marketing. They belong on your website and social media channels long after your VG is over. They’re not just storytelling tools – they’re marketing gold! Even better – marketing gold that you’ve already paid for but keeps on giving! They’re not dated. There’s no shelf life. If done right, your visual assets teach people about your org. They also serve to remind people that YOU took the plunge to virtual (nimble org ready to do whatever it takes to continue fulfilling its mission!), it was successful, and that even if your fans and supporters missed it the first time, they can watch the recorded version whenever suits them. Then watch it again. And again! Your VG is filled with great information about your org and the wonderful things you do for the people, places and/or animals you serve. It doesn’t have to be viewed live to continue tugging at heartstrings.
Need an even stronger reason to keep your show viewable, even after the original live version? Our data suggests 10-15% of donations come in post-event. 10-15%! While not everyone is in a position to give right now, our data assures us there are those who ARE. And these are the folks who are stepping up big time in today’s crazy world. Don’t make the mistake some orgs are making, and assume because of the pandemic it’s not appropriate to ask. Or that you’ll make folks uncomfortable if you DO ask. Keeping your show viewable even after the live VG is over ensures you don’t leave that 10-15% on the table. Don’t end up like the estimated 12% of nonprofits who stopped fundraising this year and subsequently went out of business. We can and must do better!
2020 was a tough year for so many. According to Pollster, the live events industry lost a staggering 30 billion dollars this year alone. Not all nonprofits survived. The silver lining is, in a virtual world, there are NO LIMITS on how many people can attend, support and give at your virtual event. Contact us. We’ll help you capitalize on this fact! Now, let’s go change the world – together.